Surface Preparation for Laying Grass Sod


When placing sod onto a lawn, it is essential to prepare the bed properly. Site preparation prevents the growth of weeds in new sod, reduces competition from grasses that previously lived in the lawn, and aerates the soil so that the roots of the sod are free to maneuver and establish themselves. Soil also requires testing so that the proper amount of fertilizer is added to for the best rooting conditions.

Step 1

Take several samples of the soil in the sodding area and place the samples into a plastic container. Send the soil sample to a local University Extension and have its pH level tested says the University of Missouri Extension. The extension service will advise you on the right kind of fertilizer to apply to the area for sod establishment.

Step 2

Apply herbicide to the area if it is an area that has had lots of weeds in the past. Pay attention to the length of time the herbicide needs to sit on the soil before you can plant sod on top.

Step 3

Run a rototiller over the soil to break up large clumps and destroy old weed roots. Plow to a depth of 10 inches, Louisiana State University suggests. Add fertilizer and soil amendments at this time, according to the recommendations of the LSU Extension Service.

Step 4

Level the surface of the soil using a lawn grader or lawn roller, the University of Minnesota Extension recommends. This prevents lumps in the yard and compacts the soil enough for proper root coverage. The lawn is ready to sod.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic container
  • Shovel
  • Rototiller
  • Peat
  • Soil grader
  • Fertilizer
  • Roller
  • Herbicide


  • Univrsity of Minnesota: Seeding and Sodding Home Lawns
  • Louisiana State University: Sod Production in Louisiana
  • University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension: Sod
Keywords: laying grass sod, lawn preperation sod, establishing sod

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.